It’s easy for hotels to overlook the power of a single TripAdvisor or Yelp review. But rest assured, consumers pay attention, and one negative review can ruin your reputation for countless potential guests. In online reviews, complaints about housekeeping operations focus overwhelmingly on poor cleanliness, ranging from unpleasant odors to rooms that are simply not ready when your guests arrive.
It’s a huge challenge for hotels to maintain rooms in top condition and keep their housekeeping staff at full productivity while minimizing overtime pay. Especially on high checkout days, room attendants find it extremely difficult stay on schedule while preparing spotless, odorless, fully supplied rooms that are ready for the next guests.
Under the pressure, cleanliness issues can be easily overlooked. Employees can burn out. And high turnover can compound these problems as replacements struggle to learn best practices for housekeeping operations while on the job.
Hotel operators may overlook an online review, but they shouldn’t overlook the problems behind the reviews. And they shouldn’t overlook the role a quality distributor can play in keeping reviews positive, while keeping staff satisfied and productive on the job. To flip rooms efficiently and beautifully, make sure your product distributor for hotel housekeeping management and operations is meeting these five expectations:
1. Provides regular training for your staff.
Hotel housekeeping is a job with notoriously high turnover rates. What’s more, the housekeeping staff often has a high percentage of employees who speak English only as a second language, or not at all. Providing adequate training is difficult and time-consuming, and the time spent in training isn’t being used to clean rooms.
Too often, that means adequate training simply doesn’t happen. That’s a fundamental mistake. A trained staff produces results that keep visitors happy and bring them back. But it’s important for training to be efficient and effective so that staff can get back to work quickly and do their jobs faster and better. We provide our customers with regular training in proper chemical usage and storage, as well as the best way to clean and flip rooms—all in a way that’s easy for even non-English speakers to understand.
A little training goes a long way in saving time and providing better results with each room cleaned. It can even help you avoid costly OSHA fines for improper chemical storage and use.
2. Helps you make decisions for housekeeper health and well-being.
Cleaning rooms all day is hard physical work, and not without risks. Ergonomically designed cleaning tools, lighter and more efficient carts, innovative equipment, safer chemicals: There are many products and methods your distributor can offer to help your housekeeping operations staff be healthier, happier, and more efficient on the job.
For example, most hotels use a laundry program that involves wide pH swings to clean their linen. When operators are exposed to these acidic chemicals—even while folding laundry that’s clean and dry—they can suffer from raw, cracked, and irritated hands.
We offer a laundry program that maintains a neutral pH throughout the entire cycle, while also delivering a superior finished product. Within a few weeks of implementing the program, operators are far more productive and satisfied with their working conditions. And as a side benefit, the program saves money by increasing linen life up to 15 percent.
3. Provides cleaning chemicals that are safe, simple, and effective.
When you look at the carts used for housekeeping operations in a typical hotel, it’s not unusual to see specialty cleaning products for practically every application: wooden table tops, granite countertops, mirrors, floors, bath enclosures, toilets and so on. Learning the proper use of each product and continually switching between products eats up unproductive time, while the risk of inadvertently using the wrong product for the substrate never really goes away.
With too many products, it’s also hard to maintain inventory, provide adequate storage space, and ensure safe storage with proper labeling. It doesn’t have to be that way. One of North American’s specialties is a consolidated program that uses only two chemicals and a single air freshener to completely clean and deodorizes a hotel room, no matter what surfaces are involved or what messes the previous guest may have left.
4. Helps you eliminate the underlying causes of room odor and poor cleanliness.
Odors, in particular, can be difficult to deal with. Guests often break the nonsmoking rules, bring odorous foods into the room, use strong-smelling personal products, and create a host of other odor problems. Older buildings have their own inherent smells that can annoy your clientele. Smell is a highly associational and emotive sense—for good or bad—and effective odor control is essential to maintaining a welcoming reputation.
Too often, the default reaction to odors is to mask them. Everyone has had the experience of walking into a room to be assaulted by an artificial cherry scent or some other cover-up smell, only to wonder what exactly is being covered up. We offer specialized products that truly and completely eliminate odors in a sustainable and cost-effective way, with no masking required.
A more proactive approach to solving tough cleanliness problems can go even further toward controlling odors and enhancing the hotel’s image. For example, it’s tempting to put off carpet cleaning because the drying time means you can’t rent a room or even an entire floor for 24 hours. We offer specialized equipment to thoroughly clean carpets and dry them in barely an hour. So you can clean more often, control carpet odors at the source, and keep rooms occupied.
5. Delivers reliably, no matter what.
Unpredictability is totally predictable in the hotel business. A convention organizer may make an unanticipated request—or more likely, a demand. A regional snowstorm may lead to flight cancellations and a spike in occupancy. A dignitary may book an entire floor. In situations like these, the one thing you need most is predictable supply.
Whether you choose North American or another supplier, be sure they have a commitment and proven track record for delivering the products you want and need, with high accuracy, at low minimum orders, even on the shortest notice. If the rooms aren’t clean, if they aren’t stocked properly or, worse, if you have to turn people away, someone is sure to complain.
Don’t let that happen. Your distributor’s job isn’t just to deliver products. It’s to help you run a hotel that will have people commenting. In a good way. A distributor that makes these five commitments for better hotel housekeeping management and operations can help you flip rooms while keeping your reputation upright.